by Jodee Brown
With Jamaica closing in on their 50th anniversary of Independence, Canada’s largest city prepares to join in on the celebrations.
Known for its vast Jamaican populous, Toronto will play host to Jamaican Rhythms, one of several events in Canada that will celebrate the island’s golden anniversary of independence. Jamaican Rhythms will be held on June 28 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Toronto.
The event will feature Dancehall and Reggae veterans such as Yellow Man, Beenie Man, John Holt and Marcia Griffiths as well as British Reggae singer, Maxi Priest.Additionally, Jamaican Rhythms will feature local acts such as 2012 JUNO Award winner, Exco Levi, Jay DouglasandJUNO nominee, Steele.
According to Jamaican Rhythms producer, Denise Jones,the event will showcase the evolution of Jamaican music, from ska and rock steady to Dancehall.In addition to music,Jamaican Rhythms will feature many local dishes such as jerk chicken and patties.
“From our folk roots — kumina to ska, to rock steady, roots, lovers rock and dancehall, Jamaican Rhythms audience will hear the rhythms and see the moves of those decades,”Jones told the Jamaica Observer.
“They will not be missing out on the culinary delights from home either as there will be jerk chicken and rice and peas from select vendors and patties with all kinda fillings!”
Meanwhile, Jones also elaborated on two events that will take place in Toronto during Independence Day weekend in Jamaica. Jones plans to visit Jamaican soon to meet with the Canadian Jamaican Professional Network, who will hostEvening of Elegance on August 5 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. On Independence Day (August 6), Toronto will also hold the annual Jambana event, a celebration of local music and culture.
Jones explained the layout for the Jambana event.
“Laid out in the village concept, There’s the Entertainment Village – the stage is non-stop from start to finish. We have the Children’s Village — (this year the Canada-born kids will play hop scotch), Lick-A-Six Domino Village, Health Village, Travel and Trade Village, VIP Village, Food Village and Craft Village. In addition to fantastic music and dance, we include Edutainment, – an educational piece that is played out in an entertaining way,”
According to Jones, there’s been tremendous buzz for each of these events which she insists will represent Jamaica’s rich history to the fullest.
“Toronto is ready to Jump for Jamaica. Phones are ringing off the hook and ticket sales have started. The Jamaican community and friends of Jamaica — and they are many — are excited by the opportunity to see five decades of Jamaica’s music and dance rolled out on the stage of the Sony Centre,”